The PureKit Blog

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Technologies Behind Merrell Shoes

What makes an excellent outdoor shoe? Is it the style, construction or price?

With 30 years of experience in the shoemaking industry, it seems that Merrell has taken into account every possible aspect to make their shoes the premium choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

There’s a science behind Merrell shoes, a wonderful mix of innovative technology that keeps the brand at the top of their game despite the surge of tough competitors. The great technologies incorporated in all Merrell models come from partnerships with some of the leading industry providers, all dedicated to provide the demanding consumers with the best that they can offer.

Vibram is one of the brand’s most trusted associates, with a close working relationship that has lasted for decades. A high-performance outdoor shoe will, of course, need to be effective in providing high-traction soles, and Vibram delivers that perfectly. Vibram soles are composed of two kinds of compounds of rubber, providing superior levels of performance in all kinds of terrain. This technology is used in over 75% of Merrell shoes.

Another technology which has helped launched Merrell’s name to the top is Gore-Tex. This useful innovation, in the form of a multi-layered fabric, keeps your feet dry at all times. The materials used in the fabric make it impermeable to water while still providing ample amount of breathability. This technology is strategically placed in the uppers and tongues of a Merrell shoe for ensured all-day comfort.

Ortholite insoles also play a big part in making each Merrell shoe comfortable. Placed in the footbed area, these anatomical insoles cushions your step and even circulates the air around your foot. This technology, together with the Aegis Antimicrobial solution, keeps moisture and bacteria build-up at bay.

Merrell’s investment in these technologies paid up significantly, giving consumers what they need while proving their signature excellence at the same time.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Tips for Choosing Walking Shoes

Getting out and active in the great outdoors is one of life’s great pleasures, and it has major health benefits too. Walking helps to improve cardiovascular fitness, exercises the muscles throughout the body and gets them conditioned, and it gets the endorphins flowing ad makes you feel great. It has long been known that walking - and exercise in general - has major implications for long term heath, with active people less likely to suffer from many terminal illnesses as well resisting common ailments such as coughs and colds. If you want to charge up your immune system, getting active in the great outdoors is one of the best ways.

Getting out in the open air and away from the smoke of the big city allows outdoor enthusiasts to leave the worries behind, clear the mind, and get some much needed breathing space, both mentally and physically.

With the stresses and their cause’s miles away, both the body and the mind can relax. Walking also offers many cost advantages over other sports and pastimes, requiring little in the way of equipment. A pair of trainers, weatherproof clothing and a water bottle is all that is needed to get out and start enjoying exercising.
However, if you really want to get the most from your walking, and stave off foot problems, aches and pains, it is worth every penny to invest in a high quality pair of walking shoes. They will offer the support your feet need, the comfort for long forays out into the countryside, and at the end of the day your feet, and in fact your whole body, will thank you for it.

There is an extensive range of walking shoes on the market, with each of the major manufacturers all claiming to be the best, with the most advanced technology. With such a choice, making a decision on the right shoes to buy can be difficult. With that in mind we have put together a short guide to ensure you get the features you need, and don’t end up paying through the nose for those that you don’t.

Waterproof Walking Shoes

If you want to get out in all weather conditions, you will need to choose a pair of waterproof walking shoes.

Walking shoes from the major outdoor suppliers usually all have waterproofing to some degree, but for the maximum protection look out for Gore-Tex and eVent fabrics. Many high quality manufacturers have developed their own technologies; however Gore-Tex and eVent are considered to be the best. Both offer total waterproofing and wind protection, whilst being highly breathable to let steam and heat escape. If you are only ever going to head out in fair weather, then these fabrics will add a little extra weight and will be extra warm, so it is best to choose lightweight walking shoes without the extra layer of waterproofing fabric.

Outsole design

Vibram sticky rubber is perfect for the trail, and will really give you excellent traction. The Italian rubber manufacturer is widely regarded as the best for off road grip; however as with all rubber compounds there is usually  a trade off between stickiness and durability. If you expect to be walking off road and taking on the trail, then sticky rubber is the way to go. However for urban walking and for heavy duty hiking consider a more robust compound and tread which will resist the abrasion from concrete, asphalt and jagged rocks.  For the maximum lifespan choose a pair of walking shoes which can be re-soled, as whilst modern rubber compounds are hard wearing, it is the outsoles which often determine when the shoes need to be replaced, and will not last as long as the uppers.

Lightweight Construction

Whilst a few extra grams may not seem very much, they add up as the miles are clocked up. Carrying around excess weight will sap your energy and can cut short any trip in the great outdoors. When the muscles get fatigued they fail to perform at optimum levels and injuries can occur. The weight of walking shoes can vary considerably with hundreds of grams difference between different models. It all adds up, and if you want to keep light on your feet, and keep up the speed light shoes are certainly the way forward.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Cheap Walking Boots

Getting out and about in the countryside is a great low cost way of getting exercise, and is far more rewarding than being cooped up in a stuffy gym. The space and fresh air is a great help for mental health as well as improving physical fitness, and the sights, sounds and smells of the countryside really add to the enjoyment.

Whilst walking doesn’t require masses of kit and is a cheap way of getting exercise, purchasing a good quality pair of walking boots is a wise investment for good foot health

Buying high quality footwear can offer far greater value for money in the long run, especially if you choose walking boots which can be re-soled.  The tread wears down much faster than the uppers, and getting new soles put on is much cheaper than having to buy a new pair of walking boots.  

 Whilst high quality is the best way to go, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a small fortune to get the latest technology packed walking boots. Cheap walking boots are widely available, and you do not have to make a compromise on quality.  There are many high quality brands which pack in the technology to keep the feet comfortable and well supported, which offer incredible value for money. Hi-Tec is one of the best brands of cheap walking boots, with an ultra lightweight design, a host of Hi-Tec technologies for comfort, and great low prices.  Whilst a top of the range pair of Salomon or Scarpa boots will set you back well over £100 a pair, Hi-Tec offer some excellent quality boots for under £50 a pair.

There are also considerable opportunities for picking up a pair of high quality walking boots at a discount. End of season sales, and even mid-season sales offer good discounts. If you want to get great quality, have a look at the brands which update their range every year. Models are often discontinued, and picking up the end of last year’s stock is a great way to save a few extra pounds. Whilst models are updated with the latest technology and are undoubtedly better, the differences in support, strength and comfort is not that great, and they are a great choice if you are working to a tight budget.

The market for cheap walking boots is highly competitive, and a little shopping around is sure to get you the best deal. Buying in high street stores will mean you have to pay a premium, whereas choosing from the big online stores such as Purekit, Fitness Footwear and Amazon will usually give you a considerable saving.  Online stores do not have the same high running costs as bricks and mortar stores, and the savings are passed onto consumers.

Whilst you can trust the big name outdoor brands, buying generic models and low cost knock offs is never a good idea. They usually lack the robustness and quality, and you will find that if you try to save too much on a purchase, you will end up having to replace them much sooner, making it much more expensive in the long run.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Get Yourself Prepared for Travel

Whether you are planning a summer holiday or an expedition, getting a kit list together is the best way to ensure that not only will you not forget your toothbrush, but that you will be covered for all eventualities whilst you are away. It’s often nice to travel with all of the creature comforts, but when you try to fit your full kit into a budget airlines luggage dimensions, you will discover that you really don’t have much room at all.

The baggage restrictions are sure to get smaller, so how can you take everything you need with you, yet still be able to get your luggage passed check in without any extra costs? If you prepare a little in advance, and have a little money to invest, it’s amazing what you can actually fit into a standard suitcase. Anyone who travels frequently will be well versed in travelling light and packing intelligently. Buying some space saving devices for your luggage is a great way of ensuring that your belongings take up little space, to get away with a smaller bag or to leave plenty of room for mementos from your trip.

A compression sack is a great choice, offering the chance to vacuum seal bulky clothing to take up little space in your suitcase or rucksack. Big bulky fleeces can be compressed to a fraction of the size, and it’s amazing how much volume can be saved for some of the luxuries that you would otherwise have had to leave at home.  Investing in a couple of zip sacks is a great way to save time, as there is nothing worse when jetlagged than having to unpack your entire bag to find what you need. They let you keep all of your electrical kit together, your washing gear, and your valuables all within easy reach.  When your travels don’t extend to hotels, having a microfiber travel towel is invaluable. It takes up next to no space, is quick drying so as not to add to the weight you have to carry, and is a luxury that you can afford to take with you.

To save on carrying bulky toiletry bottles, investing in a quality wash kit is a great way to keep the weight to a minimum and the space down too. Soap leaves take up a tiny amount of space, and are great for travelling, and are clean and hygienic. Laundry leaves too offer the chance to easily do some washing whilst away without adding to the bulk, and travel toiletries are great for beating the liquids restrictions without having to compromise too much on staying fresh on your travels.

Naturally, if you are to spend out on some kit to make your travelling a lot more comfortable, you need to make sure that your kit will arrive at your accommodation intact. Add some padlocks, gear locks and luggage straps, and you can be sure that nothing will walk when out of sight. Travelling is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean you have to be, and a small investment in some quality travel gear goes a very long way.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Not all Brasher Boots get Stowed in Spring

Brasher boots are well known for their comfort and protection, and boast a design which can cope with the worst of the winter weather. Whilst many of the heavier and more protective boots can start to get a little warm at this time of year, anyone who has purchased the Supalite II GTX should still be getting some serious miles clocked up in them this spring.

The Brasher Hillmaster GTX may well be the UK’s favourite walking boot, and is undoubtedly one of the best choices for dealing with foul wet and wintery weather, but weighing in at 1328g for a UK size 9, it can be a little too much for the warm weather that has been experienced across much of the UK this spring.  For those who love the Hillmaster GTX, but want greater versatility to cope with the seasons, the Supalite II GTX is an excellent choice. Brasher have really cut back on the weight in the Supalite II, making it one of the lightest boots in the range at only 1122g, yet it still offers the technology and robustness to cope with the bad weather, making it a great all round boot for maximum wear throughout the year.

As with the Hillmaster GTX, the Supalite II GTX offers a durable full grain leather upper, making it considerably easier to clean and care for than lightweight fabric boots which are often favoured in the spring. These Brasher boots weigh in at substantially less than most fabric walking boots on the market, yet still pack in the technology. Most of the weight saving comes a reduced cuff, which is around an inch less than the Lithium another spring favourite.  A new ultra lightweight outsole, developed specifically for the Supalite II, and whilst the weight has been significantly reduced, the boots still offer excellent ankle protection with great padding, and superb traction over the full range of terrain.

Whilst most lightweight spring walking boots offer less protection from the elements than the winter models, the Supalite II still keeps the feet well protected from the rain and wind, with a full Gore-Tex membrane, whilst the thin leather lining ensures the boots remain comfortable and highly breathable. The boots help to keep the feet cool when the temperatures start to pick up, with the full functionality to cope with winter walking adventures.

As with all Brasher boots, the Supalite II is designed for comfort, with a more generous fit to cope with expanding feet as the temperatures rise, with memory foam to cushion the Achilles and instep and give a highly personal fit. Under the feet, gel pods help to cushion properly and maintain comfort on long walks and hikes, and the uppers are robust yet offer straight out of the box comfort.

Brasher boost may be best for winter walking, but with the Supalite II you will get more use throughout the spring and the autumn, and may have you reconsidering making the spring switch over to lightweight fabric walking boots.

Declare War on Mosquitos with Lifesystems Repellents and Nets

They are the bane of explorers, adventurers and travelers the world over, and at best they are an annoyance, and at worst they are a serious threat to health. The mosquito is a known vector in a range of life threatening diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and many others and it has been estimated that they are responsible for infecting over 700 million people every year, transmitting fatal illnesses to over 2 million.

Whilst there are vaccines and drugs which can be taken to protect against many of these diseases, resistance is building up in many areas and many treatments are becoming less effective. The malaria carrying mosquito from the Anophyles family has been found to be resistant to many insecticides, and even now some of the common malaria prevention drugs.  If you want to make sure that you stay disease free on your travels, and do not have to deal with painful bites, the best defence is to go on the attack and declare war on mosquitoes. For that you need Lifesystems.

Lifesystems are experts when it comes to mosquitoes, and provide a range of equipment and chemicals to get you tooled up for the fight.  Mosquitoes are crepuscular feeders, and dusk and dawn is the time when you are most likely to be attacked. Some particularly aggressive species are active in the day and the best defence is with mosquito repellents containing DEET, a chemical which even the most determined mosquito has trouble dealing with.  Lifesystems produces a rage of DEET sprays of varying intensities, for light protection to all out chemical warfare on the devious little critters. Designed to protect from the Scottish Highlands to dense African jungles, the company provides a level of protection to suit, with one application giving 8-10 hours of protection.  When DEET just isn’t enough, there is the Expedition 100+ range, which also uses natural pyrethroids to ensure that if a mosquito does make a landing that it will be sure to make a hasty retreat. These contact repellents are excellent for use in areas where there is a high prevalence of disease, for the maximum possible protection.

You should never underestimate the resourcefulness and ingenuity of these biting insects when it comes to finding a way to get through defences.  One mis-spray could leave a potential area for bites, and you can be sure your average mosquito will find it. The tiniest hole in defences can be all it takes, and for when you are asleep and your guard is down; a Lifesystems mosquito net is the best bet.  The strong mosquito nets are lightweight for easy packing, can be easily erected, and provide a total defence against night time bites.  In case a body part touches the net, and gets within biting distance, the nets are treated with EX8 AntiMosquito, a quite wonderful chemical which repels the insects, and kills the really determined ones on contact.

Armed to the teeth with Lifesystems anti-mosquito kit you can be sure that you will not just win the battle, but the war as well.

The Brasher Boots Spring and Summer Collection

With spring temperatures soaring and summer just around the corner, Brasher boots may not be the first footwear that springs to mind. Whilst thoughts may now be on summer sandals for many people, for those who like to get out and about in the fine weather, and have the protection, ankle support and comfort from a pair of walking boots, they are still an excellent choice.

At this time of year, the full protection from heavy duty full grain leather may be a little much, but the champion of British walking boots offers an excellent selection of lightweight boots for warmer weather walking.  Whilst this spring has been unseasonably warm and dry, showers are never far away, and whilst walking boots need to be more breathable, flexible and lightweight to cope with warm and sunny spells, they still need to offer full waterproof protection. When it comes to protection from the elements, Brasher boots are in their element, with this year’s spring collection offering the benefits of a lightweight design, with full protection to cope with whatever the weather has in store.

Brasher boots offer a more generous fit than many brands on the market, with a wider fit to maintain comfort as the feet start to swell in the warm weather, giving the feet a little more room to allow the toes to align properly. The boots were designed to offer the comfort of a trainer, with the protection of a walking boot and this is clearly evident in throughout the spring collection.

For the women, the Brasher Segula GTX is one of the best choices this spring, with a highly versatile design to cope with the unpredictable British weather. The robust leather uppers for which Brasher boots are famed, has been replaced with lightweight nubuck, and the weight has been substantially reduced with a lighter outsole. The boots offer memory foam in the rear foot and instep for a highly personal fit, with a REVA lightweight midsole for excellent shock absorption over hard baked ground. Whilst the design is rugged, the boots are exceptionally stylish and great for the trail and casual walking alike.

For the men, the Brasher Supalite II Hybrid is a great spring choice, offering an ultra lightweight design for warmer weather walking, with the robustness of the Supalite II boots range and the comfort and feel of a walking shoe. The mid-boots are an increasingly popular choice from the Brasher boots collection, and a ideal for spring walking. The boots are highly breathable, with plenty of mesh to maximise airflow, with suede panels to provide extra strength. Whilst not best suited for higher altitude walking, for low level trails they are an excellent choice, with the Brasher Kamati GTX winning top marks for style.

Of course, if you have faith in the British weather and are expecting the great weather to continue, there are always Brasher sandals, but if you want to hedge your bets, these lightweight Brasher boots keep all the bases covered.